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GeneWorks for Mac Performance

Harry Mangalam mangalam at SALK-SC2.SDSC.EDU
Fri Feb 12 13:50:54 EST 1993


Re:
>I am considering purchasing GeneWorks release 2.2 I will also need to
>purchase a computer to run it on. I am not getting anywhere with 
>Intelligenetics in determining what the "real" system requirements
>are. How much RAM is needed/optimal, is a IIcx or IIsi fast enough/
>too slow, does the program make use of color or grayscale. Is IG's 
>support/service better once you've paid your money.
>
>I want to set up a system that the user will be happy with and I have
>the flexibility budget wise to do that. However, I don't want to
>use my budget if the performance isn't improved very much. 
>
>Any experiences and suggestions will be appreciated.

   While I have few good words for the IG support staff (except for Dave K
- 8)....), the question you pose is difficult to answer.  It depends on
what you want to do.  Obviously faster is better for everything, so if you
can afford it, get a Quadra 800 or 950.  If you rarely do multiple
alignments or sequence assembly, or usually deal with short sequences of
DNA or protein, then you will probably find the performance on a midrange
68030 machine quite acceptable.  All of them can be run on B+W monitors but
all have features that will only show up on a color monitor.  Geneworks and
its kin (MacVector, DNASTAR, MacMolly Tetra, etc) are memory pigs so load
up whatever machine you get with as much memory as possible (Minimum of
8MB, 16 is better).
   While I have not seen even the demo for GW 2.2, I've looked at the
(severely restricted) demo of MacVector/AssemblyLign and while the
restrictions on it make it completely impossible to make any performance
judgements (you can only use *their* data, they only include a ridiculously
small number of enzymes in their enzyme table, no printing or saving
possible of course), the interface looks better and AssemblyLign is a
quantum leap ahead of their previous assembly program, although it does not
allow direct autosequencer trace file use.
   If you have not irreversibly decided on GW, I'd suggest at least trying
out MacVector 4 (and AssemblyLign and Sequencher (from GeneCodes), if you
do a significant amount of sequencing) and DNASTAR (which gives you a
60-day fully functioning version to evaluate, instead of the decerebrate
demos from GW and MacVector (altho they do have a 30 day return policy)). 
Additionally, DNASTAR is the only one which is networkable.
  In terms of customer service and support, there is a general trend that
seems to be the case with these sequnce analysis programs that smaller
companies are more aggressive, are much more concerned with responding to
customer support, and don't have the bureaucratic overhead in turning
customer suggestions into features much faster.  From personal experience,
Gene Codes and DNASTAR have been exceptionally zippy at the latter.

Cheers
Harry


Harry Mangalam                                   Vox:(619) 453-4100, x250
Dept of Biocomputing                                   Fax:(619) 552-1546
The Salk Institute                        1'   mangalam at salk-sc2.sdsc.edu
10010 N Torrey Pines Rd                   2'        hjm at salk-sgi.sdsc.edu
La Jolla CA 92037                         3'         mangalam at salk.bitnet






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